Nate Boulton Kicks Off Gubernatorial Bid With Energetic Video

It’s official: State Senator Nate Boulton is running for Iowa Governor. Like, literally running.

In an up-beat video that resembled a sports pep rally more than a typical campaign ad, Boulton showed off his marathon-running skills as he declared his candidacy. Asking Iowans to join the race with him, he touts his past success of suing the Branstad/Reynolds administration and opposing anti-worker Republican legislation.

“I’m running for governor to fight back,” Boulton declares in his video.

The decision to run caps off the first chapter in the recently-elected senator’s quick rise to prominence in Iowa politics (read our full profile of Boulton here). He’s held elected office for only four months, but became the face of the Democratic resistance at the Statehouse during the collective bargaining and workers compensation battles. Boulton is 36 years old, the same age that Terry Branstad was when he was first elected governor in 1982.

“I am excited to announce my campaign for Governor,” Nate Boulton said in a press release. “For too long the Branstad Reynolds agenda has been about holding people back and taking away. I launch this campaign for Governor knowing we are fighting for the soul of our state. We will put forth a vision for Iowa that enhances the quality of life for all Iowans by investing in education, rewards hard work, protects Iowa’s resources, and grows our rural economy.”

Boulton is holding his first campaign event in his hometown of Columbus Junction in Eastern Iowa this morning, which kicks off a six-day statewide tour that hits 16 towns and every media market. Tonight he ends his day with a large rally in his senate district at Peace Tree Brewing in Des Moines’ East Village.

Along with the video, Boulton released the names of his campaign steering committee. State Senator Pam Jochum will serve as the campaign chair. The group includes Melinda Jones, the chair of the IDP’s Women Caucus, well-connected attorney Tim Bottaro, RAYGUN owner Mike Draper and Senator Joe Bolkcom. Joe O’Hern is leaving his job as Dave Loebsack’s campaign manager to run Boulton’s gubernatorial effort. Here’s the full list:

Senator Pam Jochum- Campaign Chair
Kennan Judge- Campaign Treasurer
Mike Draper- Owner and Founder of RAYGUN
Andrea Rivera-Harrison
Melinda Jones- Wapello Democratic County Chair and State Central Committee Member
Mark Ackelson
Tim Bottaro- Iowa Association for Justice
Tom Courtney- Former State Senator
Peggy Sherrets- Mayor of Oelwein
Tanner Halleran- Keokuk County Vice Chair
Judge Michael Streit- Former State Supreme Court Justice
Tim LaPointe
Steve Gorman
Former State Senator Brian Schoenjahn
Dionna Langford Des Moines School Board
Miyoko Hikiji
Senator Joe Bolkcom

Today’s rollout from Boulton seemed to fit the mood of the newly-energized Democratic base better than most other announcements so far this cycle. He took direct aim at Republicans for anti-worker laws, replayed the highlights of his fight at the Statehouse and generally projected a strong, confident personality. And he’s framed the effort to retake Terrace Hill as a battle for the soul of Iowa, something that may appeal to the frustrated progressive voters who are spoiling for an electoral fight with the GOP.

And the ad was well-done, but didn’t look over-produced. The people in it are all actual Iowans, with no stock footage.

His statewide tour should help build momentum for what is already a much buzzed-about candidacy. Several other candidates this year, including Andy McGuire, made a splash with their announcement, but then were nowhere to be seen in the weeks afterward.

Boulton’s website is live now as well here.

Details of his full statewide tour:

May 4

8:00 a.m. Columbus Junction Announcement
American Legion: 99 2nd St, Columbus Junction, IA 52738

12:00 p.m. Ottumwa Meet and Greet
Market on Main: 331 E Main St, Ottumwa, IA 52501

7:00 p.m. Des Moines Meet and Greet
Peace Tree Brewing: Peace Tree Brewing 317 E Court Ave, Des Moines, IA 50309

May 5

12:00 p.m. Davenport Meet and Greet
UFCW Hall: 2411 W Central Park Ave, Davenport, IA 52804

2:30 p.m. Mt. Pleasant Meet and Greet
Sip Coffee House: 120 S Main St #101, Mt Pleasant, IA 52641

6:00 p.m.  Iowa City Meet and Greet
The Brewlab: 505 E Washington St, Iowa City, IA 52240

May 6

10:00 a.m. Dubuque Meet and Greet
Jubeck New World Brewing: 115 W 11th St, Dubuque, IA 52001

12:30 p.m. Independence Meet and Greet
Em’s Coffee: 324 1st St E, Independence, IA 50644

3:00 p.m. Waterloo Meet and Greet
Volks Haus: 324 E 4th St, Waterloo, IA 50703

5:30 p.m. Cedar Rapids Meet and Greet
C.S.P.S. Hall: 1103 3rd St SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401

May 7

12:00 p.m. Marshalltown Meet and Greet
The home of Bert and Carol Permar: 106 College View Lane, Marshalltown, IA 50158

3:00 p.m. Ames Meet and Greet
Cafe Diem: 229 Main St., Ames, IA 50010

6:00 p.m. Mason City Meet and Greet
Village Court Family Restaurant: 687 S Taft Ave #4, Mason City, IA 50401

May 8

11:30 a.m.  Fort Dodge Meet and Greet
Old Boston: 809 Central Ave # 110, Fort Dodge, IA 50501

5:30 p.m. Sioux City Meet and Greet
Home of Ben Nesselhuf and Angie Schneiderman
3648 Lindenwood St Sioux City, IA 51104

May 9

12:00 p.m. Council Bluffs Meet and Greet
Barley’s: 114 W Broadway, Council Bluffs, IA 51503


by Pat Rynard
Posted 5/4/17

7 Comments on "Nate Boulton Kicks Off Gubernatorial Bid With Energetic Video"

  • I like this ad. I really, really, like it. Upbeat and informative — it reminds me of the one ad I remember from the millions of horrible one’s from 2016, and that was for Illinois treasurer Susan Mendoza — it was also upbeat, informative and didn’t once go negative — and she won! I became a fan of Nate Boulton after seeing his passionate speech trying to save collective bargaining this past winter. I know other good candidates will be throwing their hat in the ring, but I’m so happy Mr. Boulton is running.

  • I’m in! I think the reason so many democrats are excited about Nate isn’t just his youth and energy. It’s the message. You can win in this state with his message that focuses on workers and education. I’m from Carroll, and much of my family is still in northwest Iowa. Many are Steve King republicans. But they were not happy with the collective bargaining bill, and they sure aren’t thrilled about the voucher program. Places like Wall Lake, Denison, Jefferson, etc…aren’t getting new private schools much less charter schools. They have had to consolidate just to keep their schools open. Some of their kids are on school buses for over an hour in the morning. Taking away worker rights and workers comp. hasn’t set well either. There is an opening to convince them to come to the democratic party if the message is good and focused like Nate Boulton’s has been. So while I agree he has an enthusiasm advantage, I also believe his messaging has been better than any democrat who’s entered the race thus far.

  • We REALLY need to find out more about this guy! That my favorite State Senator is his Campaign Chair is a real plus. Plus he now has a record of not only talking the talk but walking the walk. I am intrigued – very. I wonder, though, how he’ll resonate with Western and Northwestern Iowans (as Dave Olsen said, the Steve King Republicans, or at least King’s district).
    Rural voters will be crucial to any Dem running of Governor; if Boulton can connect with them, it will be a very good sign.
    I do like his ad, too! His messaging is great.
    (ps – what’s Dave Loebsack going to do with O’Hern moving to Boulton?)

  • I, too, saw him speak at the February 12 march against taking away collective bargaining from public employees. I was very impressed, as I was with his further efforts on behalf of blocking school vouchers. I don’t typically commit this early in a candidate’s campaign, but after what happened today in the House of Representatives, I’m in!

  • A breath of fresh air that sounds solid and rings true. I am excited to see how his campaign unfolds.

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